Since he emerged in the mid-’90s, Robert Walter’s music hasn’t evolved so much as deepened. Walter, primarily an organist, has dedicated his career to the simple funk groove, unpacking it with ensembles of varying sizes and temperaments, as well as with jazz journeymen like Gary Bartz and Harvey Mason. At Brooklyn Bowl, he’ll assemble his back-in-session 20th Congress, which reunited earlier this year after a half-decade break, for a night of pumping organ and juicy beats.
Walter got his start in San Diego, where he helped found soul-jazz syndicate the Greyboy Allstars and began leading his own bands. In 2004, after three albums with the Allstars and five of his own, he relocated to New Orleans and became a close collaborator of drummers Stanton Moore and Johnny Vidacovich. Recently seeking change yet again, Walter ditched the Big Easy for Los Angeles, where he’s currently busy working on film scores by Greyboy guitarist Michael Andrews. As an associate of that six-stringer, Walter has played on the soundtracks of Judd Apatow–produced flicks like Bridesmaids and Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story.
But Saturday night’s Congress features a decidedly un-Hollywood cast of characters. Saxophonist Cochemea Gastelum, essentially the costar of the Congress during its initial run, now plays bari with the gloriously unglamorous Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings, and Simon Lott is responsible for sleazy, grimace-inducing drum work with guitarist Charlie Hunter.—Brad Farberman